Survivor New Zealand 2018 contestant, JT

Name: JT

Hometown: Ashhurst, Manawatu 

Age: 32

Occupation: Project Manager 

Having openly admitted to wanting to become the second (and top) notable figure on the Ashhurst Wikipedia page, JT is described by friends as a “cantankerous nerd who loves to vacuum.”

The ultimate super fan of Survivor, JT has wanted to play ever since watching the first US season back in 2000, with his wife encouraging him to sign up for season two of the local version.

Instead of training to get ready to take on the ultimate survival game, JT prioritised getting customised hats made rather than learning to make fire like he promised his wife he would…

What did you do to prepare for Survivor?

I joined the gym and went to a spin class but the music was too loud, so I never went back. I also invested a lot in linen clothing and new orthotics for my Reebok Classics, my ankle stability is about 2/10, so hoping these new orthos help.

What’s your strategy on the island? 

My only strength will be my complete lack of any obvious strength – so that’s what I’ll be playing to. I’m just going to be as non-threatening as possible, with a few key strategies.

First is to do the bare minimum in the challenges until the merge, be as honest as possible, and never tell anyone what to do around camp.

People will assume I’m strategic just because of the fact that I’m not athletic at all and have glasses, so I’m going to play a slightly exaggerated version of myself, making sure everyone knows that I’m just there to have fun. 

Or Plan B is just to vote everyone out post-merge in order of height from tallest to shortest, then make them line up at final Tribal, and tell them what I’d done. 

What was the first thing you did when you found out you were to be one of the castaways on Survivor New Zealand?

Panicked about who was going to run my fantasy basketball team.

Why do you think you should win Survivor?

I’ve got a good plan: get on with people, never tell anyone what to do (just be a reliable source of information of what others are planning to do), and try and be everyone’s #2. 

I think I can be a real role model to young New Zealanders with little to no athletics, or without any discernible talents or gifts.

Besides, who doesn’t want a millennial with a good job to get yet another leg up in life?

How would you describe your strategy in one word?

S̄nuk, which is fun in Thai (I think)!